Hello, Slate Plus membership,
In five minutes, we’re going to crack some beers and say goodbye to Amanda Hess, one of the all-time great Slate writers. (She’s accepted a David Carr fellowship at the New York Times; whatever, I’m not mad, just a little disappointed.) So instead of catching up on the past week’s Slate posts, why not revisit some of Amanda’s greatest hits?
There was the time she argued that “redheads are mutants and probably vampires.” Her script for Lean In: The Movie. Her Slate Plus essay—one of the most popular things we’ve published—on why she quit ladyblogging. Her amazing portrait of Arianna Huffington in her glory. Her explanation of why teenagers are constantly making 9/11 jokes. Her defense of anonymous-gossip app Yik Yak. Her review of the latest Fifty Shades sequel.
tl;dr Amanda Hess is a hilarious genius and the New York Times is lucky to have her.
Not from Slate
“The Plot to Take Down a Fox News Analyst” by Alex French, the New York Times Magazine
This is a crazy story—a purported CIA veteran and hard-line hawk Fox News “expert” who appeared on the network 70-plus times is accused, more or less, of being a total fraud. Alex French is great at digging way into the lives and histories of odd and/or secretive characters. —Ben Mathis-Lilley, chief news blogger
“The Rise of American Authoritarianism” by Amanda Taub, Vox
Writers have devoted God only knows how many words to explaining Donald Trump’s rise and what it means for the future of American politics. But nothing has come close to sorting it out so convincingly as this piece. Taub dives deep into a once-obscure line of political science research to show how the short-fingered vulgarian has appealed to so-called authoritarian voters. People have talked about these ideas for a while now, but this article really crystalizes and advances the discussion. —Jordan Weissmann, senior business and economics correspondent
“I Dare You to Read This and Still Feel Good About Tipping” by Roberto A. Ferdman, Washington Post
As someone who has worked in the service industry in the past, I’ve long understood why it’s terrible to force workers to depend upon the generosity of strangers for a living wage. Until I read this article, however, I was not fully aware of the uncomfortable origins of tipping (though not surprised that it has its roots in slavery, as almost every major cultural institution in America does). This is a real eye-opener. —Aisha Harris, staff writer
Also: “This, from Reddit,” says Jamelle Bouie, “is a surprisingly good explanation of why many black people still bang with the Clintons.” Rachel Gross says this is “the smart article on psychology’s crisis over whether it’s in crisis.” And Jessica Winters says “this is really good Clickhole.”
Very Short Q-and-A
We’re moving! (Our New York office, I mean.) This week we’re talking to Slate’s assistant counsel Ava Lubell, who organized the move.
Slate Plus: How will our new office be better than our old office?
Lubell: It will be awesome. All the windows. A place to eat your lunch that isn’t your desk. Snacks that you don’t have to pay for. Four podcasting studios.
Why were you put in charge of this real estate project? Aren’t you our lawyer?
Yes, but I am a highly competent person, and I love Slate so much that I was one of the first 100 Slate Plus members before I started working here.
How will Slate readers’ experience of the site change when our New York office moves to Brooklyn?
Our content will become 60 percent more artisanal, hand-brewed in small batches by mustachioed twentysomethings. No, our content will remain the same, but our staff will finally be able to fit into a conference room without sitting on one another, and perhaps readers will be able to sense that in our work.
Thanks, Ava! And thank you for your Slate Plus membership, which makes our work possible.